Transforming the European fashion industry
: strategies and practices towards environmentally sustainable production: a systematic literature review

  • Matthias Julius Werk (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This thesis examines how European fashion companies can transform towards environmentally sustainable production to reduce CO2 emissions and create value. A systematic literature review is conducted that covers literature between 2012 and 2022. The research identifies key drivers, potential benefits and challenges of sustainable production, and strategies and practices for implementation. The findings highlight internal and external factors driving the shift towards sustainable practices, including government regulations, market forces, and organizational values. This paper emphasizes operational and organizational practices that can help introduce sustainable production. The Enterprise Transformation Cycle is applied to analyze the aspects of change that are necessary for the transformation of sustainable production. The findings provide actionable insights for adopting a holistic approach encompassing strategic management, process innovation, organizational restructuring, and cultural change to ensure the structure is aligned with the new business approach. Many references prove that introducing sustainable production positively affects the environment through lower CO2 emissions and on the business by achieving competitive advantages. However, challenges such as scalability, investment requirements, and resistance to change within companies still exist. The analyzed changes underline the need for a fundamental transformation of the fashion industry towards a sustainable business model. This work is a reference for academics and practitioners on implementing and developing sustainability practices in the fashion industry's production. This applies not only to European fashion companies but may also be relevant to other markets where sustainability matters.
Date of Award26 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorNuno Moreira da Cruz (Supervisor)


  • Environmental sustainability
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Production
  • Fashion industry
  • Sustainability transformation


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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